A New Year’s book questionnaire

Happy New Year, one and all!

May 2015 be bright and blessed for you all.

I thought that today, I’d post a New Year’s book questionnaire. Actually, I found this questionnaire via Jodie Llewellyn’s site a while ago, and just haven’t posted it until now. My bad.

This is a good questionnaire for me to do, because one of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more; see the answer to Question 15 for more.

I’ve done a couple book questionnaires in the past. If you’re interested, they are here and here.

Now, on with the show.

[R]evolving Incarnations – A Questionnaire for Passionate Readers:

1. What book have you always wanted to read, but haven’t? Why?
~ I own a lot of books that I haven’t read yet. It’s pathetic, actually. There are several that I’ve always wanted to read but haven’t. Some of those include the Jane Austen 7-volume tome I own, the Virginia Woolf 9-volume tome I own, The Complete Saki, and The Diary of Anne Frank. As to why I haven’t read them, I have one word: Intimidation. I’m just….I’m sort of afraid to. Couldn’t tell you why. It’s just intimidation. That’s all.

2. What is your favorite line or passage from a book?
~ I’ve posted it before, with my favorite quotes of all time, but here it is again, from The Language of Goldfish by Zibby O’Neal: “….It wasn’t as if on some particular morning she’d suddenly felt different. Things didn’t happen that way. They changed slowly. You went along more or less the same until one day you knew something was terribly wrong. And then you realized it had been that way for a very long time.”

3. Who do you think is the most underrated author?
~ I haven’t read everything ever written, even though I tried once (though I didn’t get far), so I can’t say with any sort of authority who I think is underrated, or overrated for that matter. Much ado has been made of so many authors, I don’t know whether to read them or not. Like Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, or even Truman Capote – I’m torn between wanting to read them and not wanting to read them (even though I’ve read and loved Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea). Or even Sylvia Plath – she’s an institution in and of herself; not saying she’s underrated, but then I’m biased because she’s my favorite author. Bottom line is, I wouldn’t know who’s underrated or overrated.

4. What is your pick for the most underrated book?
~ Hmm. Again, I can’t say for certainty what I would consider underrated, because I haven’t read everything. There’s a book from my youth called The Leaving and other stories by Budge Wilson – I absolutely loved this book, so much so that I nicked it from the classroom (my apologies to Ms. Rehfeld). I would say that’s an underrated classic.

5. If you could make everyone in the world read one book, what would it be?
~ Surprisingly, I’ve given this some thought. Out of all the books I’ve ever read, it would be Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. Because she showed that mental illness had a heart and soul. I could identify with each and every person/incident in that book. So I’d hope everyone would read it, so everyone might better understand people with mental illness.

6. Is there a book you wish you had written?
~ Nope. Just my own. Go figure.

7. What are you currently reading?
~ I’m currently on Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. At the same time, and in the background, I’m working my way through a short story collection by Katherine Mansfield, the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, and a book called A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming. Yeah, quite the mix there.

8. How many books do you have in rotation at any one time?
~ As I’ve gotten older, I find it hard to read more than one book at a time. But now, I’m reading four at once (to a degree). That’s a record. I think the most I had before this was three at once, back when I was younger.

9. What is the funniest book you’ve ever read?
~ It’s not all funny, and not even laugh-out-loud funny, more smiling-in-nostalgia funny, but I’d have to say World of Pies by Karen Stolz. It’s a wonderfully warm book. Highly recommended.

10. What is the saddest book you’ve ever read?
~ Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Boy, did that book stay with me afterwards. It made me think, and it depressed me immensely.

11. What was the last book you couldn’t put down?
~ There were two: Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Wow. Susannah Cahalan – what a story that was. And I haven’t read Flynn’s Gone Girl yet, but if it’s anything like Sharp Objects, that’s gonna be a good book.

12. When you are reading a great book, do you read it all of the way through as fast as you can or hoard it for as long as you can?
~ Both. When I read a book initially and I’m really into it, I’ll read it fast. Not on purpose or anything, I’m just really into it. Then, when I read it again, I read it slower, in case I missed something the first time. And I do hoard books – I have quite the collection.

13. What book have you re-read the most?
~ The Language of Goldfish by Zibby O’Neal. I first read that book when I was ten, which was some years ago, and I’ve read it at least twice a year since, so. That’s quite a few reads.

14. Who is your pick for sexiest character in fiction?
~ I don’t know. I haven’t read everything ever written. Which means I haven’t read a lot of the classics or popular books. So here you go – I wouldn’t call Razumikhin from Crime and Punishment sexy, but he seemed like a really nice guy.

15. Approximately how many books do you read in a year?
~ When I was younger, I used to read 100 or more books a year. Yes, you read that right. 100. Or more. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I read 20. In 2014, I think I read 15 or around 15 books. This year, 2015, I resolve to read at least one book a week, which would be 52 books throughout the whole year. That’s a good resolution, yes?

16. Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?
~ It all depends. If I had to pick, I’d pick fiction, but some non-fiction is great to read.

17. If you could swap places with your favorite fictional character, would you? Explain your choice.
~ No, because I’m already there. Or rather, I should say, been there, done that. Carrie Stokes is my favorite fictional character, and I’ve been Carrie Stokes. So.

18. What is your favorite literary food or meal?
~ Egad. I dunno. I thought Sugar Quills from Harry Potter would make a great little sweet snack, but as to full blown meals, I don’t have one.

19. Where is your favorite place to read?
~ I prefer my room, but I can read anywhere, even on the bus. Yeah, I’m someone who can read in a moving vehicle without getting sick.

20. What is your favorite bookstore?
~ Either Barnes and Noble or Half Price Books. Johnny wants to introduce me to an independent bookstore here in town, but I haven’t been there yet.

21. Name six writers, living or dead, you would want as companions on a non-stop, cross-country road trip.
~ Sylvia Plath, Sarah Vowell, Ernest Hemingway, Maya Angelou, Jules Carlysle, and Natalie Goldberg.

22. Do you have a favorite and a least favorite genre?
~ My favorite stories are more coming-of-age stories, which isn’t technically a genre. So I’d have to say literary fiction is my favorite genre. My least favorite genres are science fiction and mystery, because most times I just can’t wrap my brain around those.

23. What is the longest period you have gone without reading a book?
~ For about ten years or so, I couldn’t even pick up a book; it was a chore. But, you know, that was then. This is now.

24. Name three literary characters you would want as roommates.
~ Esther Greenwood, Sam Hughes, and Novalee Nation. Just because.

25. What was your favorite book as a child?
~ Depends on how old I was, I suppose. Danny and the Dinosaur, The Pokey Little Puppy, and all the Little Golden books were favorites when I was really little. Dr. Seuss and Berenstein Bears when I was really little, and then Shel Silverstein and those Choose Your Own Adventure books as I got older, and I found Christina Rosetti all on my own in third grade. As I got older, I read the likes of The BabySitters Club series, The Language of Goldfish, and The Westing Game. And I remember there was one particular book about tornadoes that I was absolutely obsessed with until I was about 12 years old. So.

26. What is your favorite literary city?
~ I don’t know.

27. Name your favorite Bronte.
~ Egad. I have never read a Bronte before. I know, I’m terrible!

28. What is your favorite e-commerce site for books?
~ See, I’m weird. I don’t like e-books, at all. I prefer having an actual physical book. That said, I have downloaded a couple books onto my phone from the Google play store, but I haven’t read them yet. I wouldn’t know where to shop or even how to shop an e-commerce store.

29. What is your favorite pen name?
~ My own – Mousenomia Tadpole. Sorry, that’s not what you meant. Um. I don’t know. I would have to say Victoria Lucas, which is the pen name Sylvia Plath used to initially publish The Bell Jar. Also, I think Robert Galbraith is an interesting one. Like, why did J.K. Rowling pick that one? Is it because she thought no one would take her seriously? Whatever.

30. What is your favorite closing line in a book?
~ “He drew a deep breath. ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.” The ending to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

31. Do you prefer owls or elephants?
~ Owls, no question. Some people consider elephants lucky, but not me. Besides, owls are cute. But I wonder, what does this question have to do with books? tee hee.

32. Do you have any reading rituals?
~ Nope. Just read in the quiet of my room until I want to fall asleep. That’s about it.

33. Who is your favorite literary couple?
~ Good lord. I’m so far behind with the classics and popular books, I couldn’t tell you. I’ve heard Kitty and Levin from Anna Karenina are a very relatable couple. I’d have to read it first to find out.

34. Who is your favorite poet?
~ I have several, but I’d have to go with Sylvia Plath.

35. What is your favorite poem?
~ Of all time? Can’t tell you that just yet. I will, eventually. It’s a poem that gets me every time, though.

36. Do you have a favorite film adaptation?
~ No.

37. What book title would make a great band name?
~ Here’s my Plath bias again, but ‘Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams.’ Wouldn’t that make a killer band name?!?

38. What is your favorite quote?
~ Asked and answered; see the answer to Question 2. And my favorite quote of all time is actually not from a book, it’s from a movie. Sorry.

39. What is your favorite book series?
~ Anne McCaffrey’s Acorna series, because I loved Dragonsong and other books in the Pern series, but Acorna is the best.

40. Finish this sentence: People who read books are….
~ ….awesome. Sorry, nothing deeper than that. Just ‘awesome.’

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